? >>> and huge protests didn't stop michigan's governor from signing the right to work law. what's this tell us about the future of labor? >>> but we begin with the latest on the fiscal cliff. republicans made another counteroffer but it's reportedly not much different from their first offer. though we don't have specifics, we do know the president and john boehner talked on the phone last night and that call, according to a republican familiar with it, was tense and lasted just 15 minutes. i want to bring in real clear politics reporter aaron mcpike and david hawkings, editor of the cq roll call daily briefing. good morning. so president obama sat down with barbara walters last night. here's what he said. >> most important thing we can do is make sure the middle class taxes do not go up on january 1st and i'm pretty confident that republicans would not hold middle class taxes hostage to try to protect tax cuts for high income individuals. >> so he's confident. is it almost a foregone conclusion, do you think, david, that this is going to be the first piece of the puzzle that falls into place?